Stawell House of Former Cricketer on the Market

The spin bowling cricketer, who shares many similarities to today’s spin bowling hero Shane Warne – including his ability to womanise – lived at the 4-bedroom family home until the mid 1920s, when his sporting career moved him to a club in St Kilda and then Melbourne.

Up for grabs is an 1890 Federation home with formal and informal living areas, an underground cellar and an established garden. Located at 31 Scallan Street Stawell, the home is about a 2.5 hour drive north-west of the CBD and is available for private sale.

Monaghans Real Estate director Terry Monaghan, who is marketing the property says he expects it to sell for around $335,000 – a far cry from the approximate $8 million Warnie fetched for his Brighton family home earlier this year.

A left armer who bowled off-breaks as well as his natural leg break, Fleetwood Smith had extraordinary powers of spin. His capacity to bowl the “unplayable ball”, one of which he bowled to dismiss Walter Hammond at Adelaide in 1937 (effectively to retain the Ashes for Australia) was unmatched in an era of great Australian spin bowlers.

The cricketer married twice, first in 1935 and then again in 1948, about a year after he retired from the game. However both marriages failed. What followed, according to historic records, was a bout of alcoholism and depression.

Out of work and living in a derelicts community on the banks of the Yarra River, Fleetwood Smith was charged with both theft and vagrancy in 1969. Sir Robert Menzies and Sir Henry Bolte, aghast at his circumstances, funded his rehabilitation in about 1970 – a year before he died of cancer in March 1971.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of